September 13, 2007 3:14PM

Now That’s an Interesting Lede

From the cover story in the September 3rd Weekly Standard:

The fascists are coming! Or rather, they're already here, installed in the White House, planning like mad to subvert the Constitution and extend their reign in perpetuity, having first suppressed and eviscerated all opposition and put all of their critics in jail. Thus goes the rant of America's increasingly unhinged left. If only, sigh many Bush partisans, wondering when this administration will get out of the fetal position and show some fighting spirit. [Emphasis in original.]

Now of course the Weekly Standard writer is kidding here. I'm sure of it. The folks at the Standard get a kick out of playing off the left's caricature of neoconservatives as warmongering fanatics who think civil liberties are for sissies. This 2002 Weekly Standard piece, "The Case for the Empire," is a classic of the genre. The writer is clearly having us on when he explains that, in the Star Wars movies, Darth Vader is actually the good guy:

the truth is that from the beginning, Lucas confused the good guys with the bad. The deep lesson of Star Wars is that the Empire is good....

the most compelling evidence that the Empire isn't evil comes in "The Empire Strikes Back" when Darth Vader is battling Luke Skywalker. After an exhausting fight, Vader is poised to finish Luke off, but he stays his hand. He tries to convert Luke to the Dark Side with this simple plea: "There is no escape. Don't make me destroy you. . . . Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy." It is here we find the real controlling impulse for the Dark Side and the Empire. The Empire doesn't want slaves or destruction or "evil." It wants order.

Funny stuff, and entirely tongue-in-cheek. Right?... Right?